Inventive geometric planes fill architect Steven Shortridge's modernist houses with natural light, open communal spaces, and private wings, merging all the restorative possibilities of beach life with bold design. Shortridge lived across the alley from the property while it was being built, allowing him to meticulously puzzle out walls of custom cabinets to create the house's seamlessly sleek zig-zag interiors that rise from a 30-by-80-foot lot. Completed in 2005 for Sex and the City and Nurse Jackie producer John Melfi, each room's angular details are both polished and functional. A calming courtyard entrance beside a Stan Bitters fountain shares a concrete floor with the kitchen and bar while floor-to-ceiling glass doors allow the two spaces to flow as one. The acid-washed concrete with radiant heating unifies temperatures both indoors and out. Teak seating rings the courtyard and firepit while inside a stainless Sub-Zero, Miele range, vent hood, and cabinets blend into an extended wall of teak that hides a pantry, ovens, and a coffee maker. A stainless custom outdoor grill echoes the aesthetic. The combined space, adjacent to the house's living and dining rooms, functions as a continuous room malleable for entertaining. Shortridge's precise designs elegantly underplay the kitchen and private patios' functional side. White Corian counters and a custom-fabricated Corian island lined with LEM Piston barstools brighten the light-filled room. A ground floor half bath is neatly tucked down a half flight of stairs near an out-of-sight ground floor garage with a roll-up door. Up a few steps from the entry and kitchen, an open dining room sits below a large living room, yet each remains a distinct space in Shortridge's design. The dining area, illuminated by a custom-crafted David Weeks Torroja Mobile, is surrounded by windows and skylights letting in natural light. A dramatic concrete wall rises from the bottom of the stairs to the master bedroom. The living room, with its brick gas fireplace, sits a short set of stairs above the dining room offering a more intimate feel for relaxation and entertaining. Custom teak cabinets hide a full electronics bank with a CAT 5 audio system (the house is also equipped with automated lighting, alarms, and a linear diffuser venting system plus HEPA air filters). Vertical grain bamboo floors brighten the connected rooms. Airy stainless steel-and-bamboo steps lead to the master bedroom at the front of the house where a custom leather headboard sits opposite a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows with integrated blinds. The sun-drenched master bath with radiant heated floors contains a Zuma tub and walk-in shower plus Corian counters, neatly mirroring the kitchen below. At the house's rear, perched amid the treetops one level up, sit the teak office and private guest suite with its adjacent full bathroom. Designed in white oak with pocket doors to close it off from the rest of the house, the hotel-like space is an independent enclave. Just above the foliage, the rooftop terrace enclosed in Australian brushwood fencing and glass has the feel of a treehouse. The secluded retreat with views of Venice's technicolor sunsets includes a wooden soaking tub and outdoor shower. The house's two outdoor rooms off the kitchen and on the roof increase the living space by hundreds of square feet and the tranquil open-air sections add a calming, escapist element to the Abbot Kinney-adjacent house.
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